Diversity and inclusion as core elements of good governance

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by Joe Wrobel

Canadian Construction Association (CCA) chair Joe Wrobel originally wrote this article for association’s weekly newsletter.

Boardrooms are often considered “old boys’ clubs” – with like-minded directors who know each other well. While this atmosphere can strengthen friendships and collegiality, it is not always conducive to challenging assumptions and widening perspectives, sometimes inhibiting innovation, change and progress.

Good governance calls for diversity and inclusion in the boardroom.

With its new governance structure approved last fall and implemented in March of this year, CCA put in place an open and transparent process to seek applications from qualified and diverse candidates. Term limits have been put in place to ensure that there is a predictable and thoughtful renewal of volunteers, minimizing a culture of group think and complacency.

Our 2021-2022 call for applications will be opening very soon. CCA is inviting members who are passionate about an inclusive construction industry and who reflect its diversity to consider applying.

As organizations position themselves to successfully navigate an increasingly globally interdependent economy, rapid technology changes and the rise of the millennials as the dominant workforce and consumer, diversity on boards and the importance of inclusion have never been more crucial.

Leading the industry in advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a key strategic priority of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). We developed a business case for the Canadian construction industry on why companies need to focus their recruitment efforts in this area.

We are also actively seeking to reposition construction as an employer of choice, offering diverse career opportunities for women, Indigenous, new Canadians, youth, and other under-represented groups in not only the skilled trades, but also in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and management. There is a place for everyone in construction. Our upcoming national public awareness campaign, Talent Fits Here, will demonstrate how the industry is a fit for anyone seeking a career in an industry that values creativity, curiosity, diversity and talent – where all are welcomed and have an equal opportunity to connect, belong, grow and contribute.

Diversity and inclusion are core CCA values that define who we are as an association. Understanding the different needs of sectors and regions, all levels of government, as well as the communities in which we live and work puts us in a better position to serve our members.

Suggested reading

The value of diversity and inclusion in the Canadian construction industry: A business case. Canadian Construction Association, 2019.

Advancing diverse leadership on Canada’s corporate boards: Annual report card 2018. Conference Board of Canada and Canadian Board Diversity Council, 2018.

The inclusion imperative for boards. Deloitte, April 2019.

Board best practices series: Embracing boardroom diversity. Nasdaq, June 2019.

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